As a hip hop fanatic, it’s not uncommon to hear rappers brag about the money, cars, and clothes they own. The radio has done the genre a disservice by constantly playing these fun songs on repeat as if rap music has no substance. There are plenty of artists who sing and rap about current political issues and hardships they face within the communities that they were raised in. Ultimately, Hip Hop is still very much the music of the streets. Despite this, many critics have accused rappers of being detrimental to both the youth and the black community as a whole. In response to that, I have created a short list of rappers who have been proactive in their community and/or took strides to uplift the black community outside of the uplifting songs and anthems that are too easily dismissed as it poorly resonates with older generations or (in some cases) social groups outside of their own.
1. J Cole: There’s no way I could make a list of young artists who uplift the community without including the Dreamville founder. Cole has shown his dedication to activism in the form of protests (on several occasions), donated to schools and children from his hometown, and even went as far as buying the house he used to live in to give low income families a place to live in rent-free for 2 years at a time. Most of these examples were never even promoted by Cole himself, but documented by others or the people he visited in ‘secret’. Along with other artists on the list, there are several other humanitarian acts left from the list that you could find online. Cole is a great example of how actions speak louder than words, and is a great role model for both the youth and his fellow rappers.
Cuz I don’t think yall give my nigga the credit he deserves. My man Wale just opened for the State of the Union address yesterday. This is the second time in a year he’s been invited to perform at the White House. EBM in the sky tonight. Shine your light